FITTO Journals

Lupus Flares

Systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune connective-tissue disorder with a wide range of clinical features, predominantly affects women especially from certain ethnic groups. Diagnosis is based on clinical assessment supported by investigations, including the finding of autoantibodies. Treatments range from antimalarial agents like hydroxychloroquine to corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents. Despite advances in the treatment, patients with SLE often experience disease exacerbations (flares) of varying intensity followed by periods of remission. Their diagnosis is primarily made on clinical grounds after exclusion of other diseases or disturbances, primarily infections. Serological tests such as serum complement fractions and anti-dsDNA autoantibodies, are helpful in monitoring SLE activity. Flares are more frequent in patients with persistent immunological and clinical activity, and have been described as a significant risk factor for development of irreversible end-organ damage.

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